What Boeing needs to do to get the 737 Max cleared to fly again

The Boeing logo is pictured at the Boeing Renton Factory in Washington on March 12, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Boeing said on Monday (Dec 16) it will halt the 737 Max commercial production in January as the grounding of its best-selling Max following two fatal crashes within five months looks set to last well into next year.

The following are some of the key steps that US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson said still need to take place before he approves the 737 Max to return to the skies.

* A certification test flight with Boeing's 737 Max updates on flight-control software and other revisions meant to add layers of protection.

* An evaluation of pilot training needs by a Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB), made up of the FAA's Flight Standardisation Board and partners from Canada, Europe, and Brazil.

* A report from the FAA's Flight Standardisation Board on the JOEB's findings. The report will be made available for public review, allowing airlines to propose changes.

* An independent review of changes Boeing is making to the B737 Max flight control system by a Technical Advisory Board (TAB) made up of experts from the FAA, NASA, the Air Force and the Volpe Centre including test pilots, aerospace engineers and chief scientists with backgrounds in flight controls, flight operations, simulators, human factors, computer systems and software, flight standards and safety.

* An FAA review of all final 737 Max design documentation, which also will be reviewed by the TAB.

* A Continued Airworthiness Notification from the FAA to the international community about pending safety actions on the 737 Max.

* An Airworthiness Directive from the FAA spelling out the steps that airplane operators must take with their 737 Max fleets.

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